Springfield businesses honor the 13 US service members who died in Afghanistan

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Thirteen U.S. service members were killed in a suicide bombing near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on Thursday. Among them were 11 Marines, one Navy sailor, and one Army soldier. At least 18 other U.S. service members were injured, and at least 169 Afghans were also killed.

Names of the service members killed were released by the Department of Defense on Saturday:

  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas
  • Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California
  • Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah
  • U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, Jackson, Wyoming
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska
  • Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri
  • Navy Hospital Corpsman Max W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio

Since then several local businesses in Springfield have been honoring the lives of the 13 service members. One of those businesses is 4 by 4 Brewing Company.

The small business posted a photo on social media showing 13 beers placed on a table with a reserved sign.

Chris Shaffer, co-owner of 4 by 4 Brewing Company and veteran, said it was a way to honor America’s fallen brothers and sisters.

“A lot of my buddies who are still in the military or active reserve or guard started texting me saying it sure would be cool if you could do this, it would really mean a lot,” said Shaffer. “And I said honestly I’m already on it. I thought about it and you guys texted me that you would be behind it as well. That makes up my mind and so, we decided to do it.”

Two other businesses have decided to honor the fallen service members as well.

BigShots and Texas Roadhouse.

Shaffer says seeing people come together and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice is exactly what America needs.

“I think America and the world have been in a really weird situation the past couple of years,” said Shaffer. “I think we all need to come together and support each other and this is one of the ways we can do that.”

Many customers approved of this tribute and thanked the owners.

“There was a lot of positive feedback from it, said Shaffer. “People thanked us and they were happy to see that individuals could still be patriotic. And just being American. We got it pretty good overall, way better than most. And I think people underappreciate that a lot.”

The simple gesture hit close to home for one customer on Saturday.

“My bartender came up to me and said this guy who just got a beer said one of his managers that works for him in Nebraska, it was his son,” said Shaffer.

Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska, is one of the 13 that died in Kabul Thursday. Page arrived in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

Page served in the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment based at Camp Pendleton, California.

4 by 4 Brewing Company offers a veteran discount every day the brewery doors are open.

“We want to give back to veterans,” Co-Owner Derek Shimeall said. “It’s not just a veterans day or a memorial day I mean we want that to be a thing every single day.”

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